How to Get Employees Behaving Like Business Owners

Ann Jones February 25th, 2019

Whether they realize it or not, many of our Dashboard clients practice “open-book management.” In other words, they actively create a culture where employees think, act, and feel like owners. They get their employees engaged in making money for the business.

How does open-book management work? According to John Case, who coined the phrase and wrote the book on the subject, open-book management is built upon a commitment to financial transparency.

But it’s more than just sharing top-down financial information with employees. It’s about giving employees access to bottom-up numbers, the authority to make decisions, and responsibility for achieving results.

When it comes to open-book management, Dashboard clients have an advantage. Dashboard gets all teams working from a central source of up-to-date financial information. Everyone can see how their efforts move the needle on KPIs.

Everyone on Dashboard?

In theory, open-book management means that all employees, from the C-suite to the teller line, would have access to Dashboard. The reality is that it takes some Dashboard clients time to get comfortable expanding access beyond the executive leadership team.

“After two years, it is definitely time to take our use [of Dashboard] to the next level,” said Diane Kotlewski, vice president of finance for Chaffey Federal Credit Union of Ranch Cucamonga, CA. “We have some major projects in the works which will mean we’re going to be holding our people more accountable for monitoring, measuring, and managing performance. They are going to need the data and the tools.”

As an example, Kotlewski said that branch managers are expected to act as the CEOs of their own enterprises. With Dashboard, they will keep a close eye on performance indicators and metrics such as loans, maturities, deposits, expenses, and exceptions. Managers will have the authority to make decisions based on what their branch data reveal.

A Must-Have for Branch Managers

It makes good, strategic sense to ask branch managers to take ownership of their branches. Giving them accountability and authority increases engagement and results. But to be successful, branch managers must have access to the daily performance activities of the branch.

“In today’s lingo, we talk about running a branch like we’re running a store,” said Bob Koncerak CFO/COO/EVP of American Commerce Bank. “We give branch managers the right tools, including Dashboard, and provide incentive for them to run their locations in the most efficient, profitable way possible.”

To enhance efficiency and profitability, branch managers can use Dashboard to examine:

  • Branch expenses – Are they booked in the correct cost center, are they higher than expected (and if so, why?), are the allocations correct?
  • Branch deposits – What is the deposit mix and pricing, what will be the impact of rising rates, which products are doing best (or worst) and why?
  • Branch loans – What is maturing, what is the weighted average rate, how are loan officers performing, which products are selling best right now?
  • Comparison to other branches – Based on various metrics, how does our branch compare to others in the system, are there best practices to share, how can our location become/stay the top performer?

Keep Expanding

In a perfect open-book management scenario, every employee would be logging in to Dashboard and actively engaged in helping the institution make money. However, if widespread use of Dashboard isn’t realistic right now, start with your branch managers. Once you see what a positive impact this has, then think about granting access to all your loan officers, cost-center owners, and even your board members.

If you would like help getting additional users up-and-running on Dashboard, please don’t hesitate to contact the Dashboard team. Remember, you have unlimited user access with your Dashboard subscription.

This content is accurate at the time of publication and may not be updated.